I'm really on board with this; I had already determined that I wanted to do this over the summer. So, we had a learning activity in both August and September.
In August we did this awesome cup stacking challenge. Students worked together to build the highest tower they could. It was a great opportunity to get them working together in a team.
At the end they concluded that the foundation made all the difference in being successful builders.
Our September challenge also involved building a tower but it was very different from the first challenge. This time each team was given 20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 yard of tape, 1 yard of string, and 1 large marshmallow. The challenge was to build a tower that would hold up the marshmallow. Also, the tower had to stand up by itself! I teach two classes, so a total of 8 teams attempted this challenge and only two were successful. It was even better than the first -- so much problem solving going on, lots of great discussion about what to try. They had 18 minutes to complete their tower.
Are you incorporating STEM this year?